October 22, 1975


Conference Room of the First Union National Bank, Asheville, North Carolina, October 22, 1975

The Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University met in a special called session on October 22, 1975, at 2:00 p.m. in the Conference Room of the First Union National Bank in Asheville, North Carolina.


The following members of the Board were present: Mr. Abbott, Mr. Coward, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Glenn, Mr. Gloyne, Mr. Killam, Mr. Mallonee, Mr. Patterson, and Mr. Wynne. Others present were: Chancellor Robinson; Vice Chancellor Stoltz; Mr. Scott, University Attorney; Professor Nelson, Chairman of the ad hoc Tenure Committee; Professor Lovin, Chairman of the Faculty; Mr. Herbert Hyde, Attorney; Dr. Raymond Dawson, Senior Vice President, The University of North Carolina; Dr. Robert Phay, Special Assistant to President Friday; Mr. Richard Kane, Office of the Attorney General; Mr. Philip Carson, Member of the Board of Governors.


The purpose of the meeting was for further discussion and action on the tenure document which had been presented at the September 16 meeting and on which action was postponed in order to give Trustees sufficient time to study the document in detail. The proposed document, drafted by an ad hoc committee chaired by Professor Nelson, incorporates sections from Chapter Six of The Code of The University of North Carolina dealing with the faculty freedoms and responsibilities in the University System. Other sections deal with procedures for award and denial of tenure, the probationary period and the tenure track, and the committee structure by which recommendations are forwarded to the Chancellor.

From the ad hoc committee, the document was forwarded to and approved by the Academic Personnel Committee. The Faculty Senate discussed the document at its meeting on October 10 and, without prejudice, passed the draft to Chancellor Robinson for his consideration. Following approval by the Board of Trustees, the document will be sent to President Friday for consideration by the Board of Governors. If approved by the Board of Governors, the provisions of the document would become effective July 1, 1976.

There was an extensive discussion of the document and the recent suit against the Board of Trustees. Following the discussion and upon proper motion duly seconded and carried, the document was approved for transmittal to the Board of Governors. Mr. Killam's vote was negative. (A copy of the document as presented to the Trustees is on file with minutes material.)

Chancellor Robinson informed the Trustees of the death of President Emeritus William Ernest Bird in the early morning of October 22, and upon proper motion duly seconded and unanimously carried, the following resolution was adopted:

WHEREAS, for fifty-five years Dr. William Ernest Bird served Western Carolina University as it developed from a normal school into a university; and,
WHEREAS, he perhaps more than any other individual both by the length and quality of his service as professor, dean, and President, contributed to its growth; and,

WHEREAS, he himself was one of the university's most noted alumni, having graduated from this institution in 1915 when it was still a Normal and Industrial School; and,

WHEREAS, his History of Western Carolina College is an invaluable record of the founding and growth of the institution, what Dr. Bird called, "The Progress of an Idea"; and,

WHEREAS, the university is indebted to him for the words to its alma mater; and,

WHEREAS, thousands of his former students would rise up and praise him as a professor who himself exemplified his beloved Chaucer's Oxford Clerk, "And gladly would he learn and gladly teach"; and,

WHEREAS, it could have been Dean Bird of whom Sir Thomas Overbury was speaking when he said, "The good man feels old age rather by the strength of his soul than by the weakness of his body"; and,

WHEREAS, he and his devoted wife have reared a family, now in the third generation, who follow in the tradition of educating oneself in order to serve others better;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University in a meeting assembled on October 22, 1975, hereby express their appreciation for the lifetime of service of Dr. William Ernest Bird to this institution and extend their heartfelt sympathies to his wife and children.

This the 22nd day of October, 1975.

With no further business to be transacted, the meeting adjourned at approximately four o'clock.

Respectfully submitted,

James H. Glenn, Chairman

Helen B. Owen, Secretary


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